LECRAE On Success, Fame & Common Misperceptions

"Success is not what you do in comparison to them... Success is what you do in comparison to what you were created to do."
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As GRAMMY Award winning hip hop artist Lecrae made his way to Philadelphia during his #DestinationTour, we were able to catch an exclusive interview with him as he sat down with Temple University’s, Professor Timothy Welbeck.

From Houston Texas, Lecrae is an American hip hop artist, co-owner and co-founder of Reach Records who released seven albums, three mix-tapes and one EP and is the leader of his 1-1-six unit. Just this year alone, he released a gold album and was recognized as a New York Times Bestselling author. His discography has sold more than 1.5 million copies, and his latest album, Anomaly, earned him a simultaneous spot on the Billboard Top 200 chart and the Billboard Gospel chart.

During the interview, Lecrae spoke to Temple students about what success truly is, what its not and the journey of getting there. He mentions that many people tend to compare themselves to others who are successful and use them as a measurement of what their personal success should be. Lecrae didn’t discourage using others as an inspiration but he said: 

“success is not what you do in comparison to them, success is what you do in comparison to what you were created to do”.

- Lecrae

Through practicing what he preaches about reaching success, Lecrae has shared the stage, and collaborated with Common, John Legend, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Rakim, Boi-1da, 9th Wonder, S-1, et al, and been featured every where from RollingStone, XXL Magazine, Vibe Magazine, The New York Times, The Atlantic and the cover of The Huffington Post Magazine, Billboard Magazine, Variety, and Vulture.

During the interview with Welbeck, Lecrae emphasized that no matter how far you reach or how tall you climb, the grind never ends. Even with all of the accomplishments, self fulfillment, money and awards, Lecrae says, “It didn’t stop the pain of loss, didn’t stop grief, and didn’t stop depression. Those things don’t bring the joy fulfillment. They are gratifiers, not satisfiers”.

From the start of his career, Lecrae has evolved significantly. He was not necessarily always on the right path, but he found his way. The life of the streets at one point consumed him, but after facing trouble, tribulations and confusion, he later accepted the bible and used it to guide him. While Lecrae’s music reflects a Christian faith, he does not categorize his music outside of hip hop. After a question was asked from one of the students, Lecrae explains that there is truly no difference from a rapper and a Christian rapper. Just like many other artists, over a polyrhythmic beat, Lecrae lyrically expresses the struggles and obstacles he overcame, the message he wants his listeners to hear and the hope he wants his audiences to hold.

Last Monday, Lecrae showed just that. During his Destination Tour, Lecrae performed some of his top songs at the Theater of Living Arts in Philadelphia and his 1-1-six family went wild. The ambiance of the lighting and atmosphere matched the hypeness of his beats, energy of his crowd and passion of his sing-alongers. After finishing his set songs, the audience roared for Lecrae to do “one more song”, and he came back out with a bang. As you can see in the snippet video above, the fog machines blasted, the music was pumping, Lecrae did his thing and the crowd went off.